Division and Revision

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Manet's well-known painting in the National Gallery London of a cafe-concert - a kind of cabaret performance and music-making that was the latest fashion in Paris of the 1870s - has a peculiar history. The painter initially planned an ambitious canvas with which he grew dissatisfied, then cut it in two, one half being the painting in the National Gallery and the other half now in Winterthur in Switzerland. He repainted both fragments to make each work as a picture in their own right, but modern technology has discovered and reconstructed the original greater work. New research has also identified the cafe, the Reichshoffen, and even the Folies-Bergere performance that is advertised on a poster represented in the picture.

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Paul Holberton Publishing
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